Powassan Virus

Powassan virus disease is a rare infection transmitted through the bite of an infected blacklegged tick, or less commonly the groundhog tick or squirrel tick. Most people who become infected are asymptomatic; however, infected individuals may show mild to severe symptoms such as fever, headache, nausea, vomiting, weakness or muscle and joint pain. Severe disease may result in meningitis and/or encephalitis with symptoms that may include confusion, loss of coordination, difficulty speaking, paralysis, seizures or coma. The best prevention is to avoid tick bites by using insect repellent, wearing proper clothing, removing ticks as soon as possible after bites and removing tick habitats from around the home. This infection became a Disease of Public Health Significance on July 1, 2023.


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Updated 26 July 2023